Ariana DeBose to open Baftas ceremony with contemporary music performance

Ariana DeBose is set to open this year’s British Academy Film Awards show with a contemporary music performance inspired by the 2023 Bafta nominees.

The 32-year-old American actress will return to the Bafta stage following her win for best supporting actress last year.

DeBose scooped the Bafta for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, a portrayal which also earnt her the Oscar for best supporting actress.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Ariana DeBose won the Oscar for best supporting actress last year (Doug Peters/PA)

The ceremony will take place at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre on February 19.

During the course of the evening, Mercury Prize-winning Little Simz will also perform.

The London-born rapper and actress will take to the stage to perform a track from her recently-released fifth studio album NO THANK YOU.

The Prince and Princess of Wales will also be in attendance for the first time in three years.

This year’s awards see Netflix’s anti-war epic All Quiet On The Western Front with 14 nominations – while The Banshees Of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, featuring Michelle Yeoh, follow closely behind with 10 nominations each.

The awards will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Sunday and will also be streamed globally.